This Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream makes me dream of holidays in France - and particularly of my husband's island of Corsica. Candied chestnuts are such a festive French treat during the holiday season but I love this light and easy dessert at any time of year.
This post was originally published on 21 January 2012 but has now been updated to include a printable recipe card and updated text.
Mad About Chestnuts! How Do We Eat Them?
My youngest daughter is mad about chestnuts in all forms - either as sweet or savoury. If I mention this magic word, Lucie's smile makes me melt quicker than the contents of this ice cream dish. She's obsessed about roasted chestnuts, vacuum-packed chestnuts simply tossed on pumpkin soup, with green beans, or in this butternut & walnut gratin.
Even when little, she was even willing to sacrifice precious pocket money for an expensive poke of Parisian roasted chestnuts. It's the biggest winter treat, smelling them roasting on trolleys at the welcoming exit of a Paris metro station - and helps to calm the effects of the howling winds at the top of the steps.
She nibbles at luxury candied chestnuts, marrons glacés, as if she was Charlie with a golden-ticketed chocolate bar. She also craves the sweetened candied chestnut & vanilla spread that is so common in France - by the legendary Clément Faugier. If you don't know it, it's a French staple that families have in store normally, as it's dolloped on fromage blanc and spread (thinly!) on crêpes.
What does chestnut spread taste like? It's particularly sweet, tastes of vanilla and well, chestnuts! Its texture is smooth - and lends itself well to all sorts of French desserts too.
What's more, on our trip to Japan, we realised that the Japanese are really fond of chestnut ice cream too. So, making this at home is a real treat when we can't just jump on a plane and visit!
Candied Chestnuts in France (marrons glacés)
Candied chestnuts are a total gourmet speciality in France and are traditionally enjoyed over the festive season. They're primarily prepared in the Ardèche region but honestly (in my humble opinion) the best candied chestnuts are in Corsica - and I'm not just saying that because my husband is Corsican! The Corsicans put chestnut flour and chestnuts in so many of their recipes.
Egg Yolk Recipe for Macaron Lovers Who Need Egg Whites!
When you're as mad about macarons as I am (and I know I'm not alone on this one - come on, own up), you need to use up plenty of egg yolks while you're ageing your whites for 2-3 days before making macarons.
So, Ice cream is one of my favourite egg yolk recipes (this link is to my yolk database!), as it uses up 8 yolks in this easy, classic recipe.
Do I need an Ice Cream Machine? What If I don't Have One?
Ideally, it's best to have an ice cream machine. I don't have one, but instead use the ice cream attachment for my stand mixer that still does the job well.
If you don't have an ice cream machine or mixer sorbet/ice cream attachment, then take the cream out of the freezer every 30 minutes (about 5 times) and mix up the partially frozen mixture well.
How to Make Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream
PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
1. Cream together the egg yolks, sugar and sweet chestnut purée in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
2. Heat the milk and cream in a heavy-based pan with the vanilla pod, cut in two lengthways. Add the powdered colouring, if using. Bring to the boil, and turn off the heat for the vanilla to infuse in the creamy milk for 5-10 minutes. Scrape out the seeds from the pod and add to the cream.
3. Pour the creamy milk onto the egg mixture whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan on a medium heat, whisking constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the vanilla pod and set the mixture aside to cool.
4. Once cool, place in the fridge for 1-2 hours before pouring into an ice cream maker to churn then freeze for a couple of hours minimum.
Serve with marrons glacés and macarons.
Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 100 g (3.5oz) caster sugar
- 2 (7oz) small 100g tins of sweetened chestnut spread
- 400 ml (14 floz) whole milk
- 200 ml (7 floz) whipping cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- pinch of caramel powdered colouring optional
- a handful of broken marrons glacés or whole ones if you're feeling posh
- Cream together the egg yolks, sugar and sweetened chestnut vanilla spread in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Heat the milk and cream in a heavy-based pan with the vanilla pod, cut in two lengthways. Add the powdered colouring, if using. Bring to the boil, and turn off the heat for the vanilla to infuse in the creamy milk for 5-10 minutes. Scrape out the seeds from the pod and add to the cream.
- Pour the creamy milk onto the egg mixture whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan on a medium heat, whisking constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the vanilla pod and set the mixture aside to cool.
- Once cool, place in the fridge for 1-2 hours before pouring into an ice cream maker to churn. Then follow ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
This looks delightful, Jill! My mother and Lucie sound exactly the same! Mum grew up with Italian chestnuts, so she absolutely adores them. I, on the other hand, thought I disliked all chestnuts, but discovered that I like them raw when I was in England at the end of 2019! My cousin and husband (and mum) thought I was certifiable, but what can I say? Talk to my taste buds! Haha!
I've never tried raw chestnuts, Christina - talk about something new every day? I have to try the experience. Yes, we love it in all forms here - in flour which gives a gorgeous rustic flavour to dishes and cakes plus the actual chestnuts thrown in. Lucie told us over Christmas that she loves winter, just for Chestnut season!
You don't often see chestnuts here in Australia but I do remember in my childhood that people would pick them from their trees and sell them by the roadside. That is when I lived in Victoria in a much colder climate to sunny Queensland. This ice cream sounds delightful.
Hi Jill, I'm following your recipe, but cannot see where I add the chestnut puree in the process of the recipe. Help please
Thanks so much for noticing! I have made it clearer on the recipe. Add it at the beginning when mixing the egg yolks and sugar together. So excited you're making this! Enjoy x
I am like your daughter when it comes to marrons glace! This recipe is outstanding and I can't wait to try it.. you got my taste buds going, just by looking at it! YUM, thanks for the recipe 🙂
Thanks, Dima. Always thrilled when someone wants to try one of my recipes!
Oh Jill, this is the most divine ice cream recipe!! Have to look for a good quality sweetened chestnut purée.
Jill, these is a dream ice cream for me, I am 100% that this ice cream taste crazy good.
What a creative and sweet family!
Oh my dear Jill you know how much I adore ice cream. This is magnificent. I am always so scared to try mine with eggs. Don't know why. I shall have to take this for a test spin. I love that your daughter is a budding foodie. Yeah!
I can't think of anything chestnut-flavored that I've eaten. Clearly I'll have to change that!
Sandra's Easy Cooking
Chestnuts and Vanilla Ice-cream..you are genius! Love both very much, and together mmm...I would sing anything you want baby hehe, but it wouldn't be pretty though:)))
Have a lovely day Jill and enjoy!!!!
5 Star Foodie
What a unique flavor with chestnuts! I would love to try!
Jill...not only am I mad about your macarons....but I love visiting your site to see what other sweet treats you concoct with your egg yolks! I, for one, can eat ice cream all year round. Especially when you use seasonal ingredients like your marvelous chestnuts! This looks so rich and creamy! And no need to make apologies....be a good mum first! Looking forward to your website upgrades! (Never enough hours in a day, no?!)
Anne, you are so true to your sweet name. Thank you. J xo
...chestnut heaven? Can I move in? Wowsa! This ice cream looks astoundingly good!
You'd have to do a chestnut entrance test by Lucie, I'm sure 😉
That sounds like an amazing flavor combination. Sorry about the rain...but I promise you it beats the snow currently blanketing Alaska!
Stay warm - eat ice cream! We're probably destined for the white stuff soon enough, too.
Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family
That ice cream looks phenomenal.
Thank you to Lucie for prompting you to make and post this for the rest of us.
Oh and by the way. I received my copy of Mad About Macarons. I have drooled over all of the pictures, but my 2 year old daughter I think loves it the most.
I will venture in to actually making some once I can get the book back from her.
Here is to staying warm!!! Have a great day Jill.
I think your daughter is in for some macaron fun with Mummy! So pleased to hear you like it, Rachel.
Oooh, whole chestnuts in the ice cream? That looks beyond fantastic! I wish I had an ice cream maker!
I don't have a real one, either. But no need - you can still make this no problem without it.
Choc Chip Uru
I love the combo of flavours - vanilla ice cream totally amped up! I bet you enjoyed this delight very much 😀
Yum and I love your blog - glad to have found it!
Glad you enjoy the blog and thanks for saying hello!
Marsha @ The Harried Cook
Your daughter has good taste 🙂 🙂 This ice cream sounds so yummy! I wish I could have some right now! 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂
What a delicious flavor for ice cream! I am glad you posted this special recipe, for I have not seen it anywhere. I am saving this one, probably will not see anything like it again-yum!
Sometimes life does call you away from blogging but the great thing is that it will always be there for when you have the opportunity. Hope you are enjoying the weekend!
Thanks for being so sweet, Tina.
I love chestnuts but have never tried this flavour in an icecream. I have saved some chestnuts in the deep freezer and may be I will try it during the summer.
Emily @ Life on Food
I had my first tasting of roasted chestnuts on the streets of Paris. It wasn't a winner. Maybe in ice cream form I would take more of a liking to them.
Emily, I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed...
This ice cream loks divine! I love chestnuts in all forms. glad to add another fabulous recipe to my "Using up all those leftover yolks from making macarons" file.
What sophisticated tastebuds your Lucie has!
I think I was switched at birth...
Can I please come home?
I'd like to be in Lucie's shoes...
Carol - I love your infectious sense of humour.
You are joking, right? 🙂
Jill, I hear you on the keeping caught up with other blogs...there is just not enough time in the day! Your ice cream looks amazing....Miss Lucie has exquisite taste buds 🙂 Thanks for sharing, my friend~
Liz, I don't know how you do it! I'm always in awe how you manage it all so well. I'm sneaking on the computer here while supposed to be helping with homework!
LOVE this recipe! The color of the ice-cream is stunning! I'm a big fan of the custard style ice-cream, too! Thanks and have a GREAT day!
Thanks, Anne. Somehow I've always been a fan of the wicked version and never the fancy sorbets. It's a win-win with the macs!
Jill, this looks so good! I've been having ice cream for dessert these few days ( I have no idea why considering its snowing out there) and this would be a fabulous idea; to sandwich it with macarons!
Funnily enough, macaron queen, I've done that before and I'm not the biggest fan of ice cream macs. Much prefer serving ice cream on top of one huge mac and dribbling hot fudgy caramel sauce on top.... you've given me an idea for dessert tonight, thanks. Have some left over chocolate-hazelnut ganache from yesterday's macs...
I need to master macarons because I have a freezer full of egg whites left over from ice cream. I mean how much meringue can a person eat?
I will try macarons again. I'm convinced I'm doing something silly but I haven't figured it out yet. 🙂
I love chestnuts too. Your daughter and I would get along really well.
Hang in there, Maureen. You will be master of macarons in no time - especially if you're an ice cream wizard!
Terris@ Free Eats
What a beautiful recipe and great way to use those extra yolks! In this instance, leftovers are the mother of invention! 🙂 Love those gilded macarons in the photos too. Very elegant.
Hm. Leftovers. Love them, like you!
I hate to admit this but I'm having a harder time now attending to everyone's needs and working let alone finding time for myself. My kids are now 22 and 25 and I'm maxed out with things to do. I can so relate.
Your ice cream looks yummy. I on the other hand indulged in my first attempt at making Macarons. They were delicious but I think I needed to cook them a bit longer so the shell was very firm.
Hope you find time for yourself soon.
Not enough hours, are there, Vicky? Glad you enjoyed your macs.
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
Mouthwatering post, Jill. Glad young Lucie inspired this post - this icecream looks sensational. I dropped my icecream maker 🙁 so I will have to try the freeze n stir method but the way I look at it, having to whisk the icecream burns up lots of calories so I can justify having a second helping 😉
Too funny, Hester. Love it.
Nami | Just One Cookboo
Me too, I love anything chestnuts! This ice cream is so special as we can't find this flavor anywhere around here! Thanks for the recipe. If you live near me, I would give egg whites so you can make extra macarons (for me too teehee). Beautiful plate of desserts!
Oh why, oh why, do you have to live on the other side of the planet, Nami?
Wow! Jill, I agree that this is a great way to use up egg yolks, it looks and sounds amazing! Sadly I have yet to try chestnuts like this but I would love to! Have a wonderful weekend :)!
Oh my - this is sort of a winter ice cream (it's very cold here) but that chestnut just warms it all up. What a beauty. Your daughter is very smart!
Claudia, I have difficulties keeping up with her at times - especially on the chestnut venture...